In Cajamarca, from the Plaza de Las Armas (where Atahualpa was captured), it is possible to see and walk to the mirador de la Ciudad… which is a hill, a garden, and a church overlooking the city. Carrie and I decided to walk there, up the steps which take you to the church, which seems to be near the top.
It’s quite a few steps (maybe 150 or so, plus an uphill walk before that) but there are little shops and artisan markets all along the way to stop at. There are also fun statues all the way up.
The view from the church is absolutely worth it.
Even more worth it are the gardens, which cost 1 Sole (about 35 cents) to enter.
Edwin, a boy there, asked us if we wanted a tour and a bit of the history of the in exchange for a “pequena propina” (small tip).
Why not, we decided.
Edwin the tour guide is AWESOME (if you understand Spanish). He’s 12 years old and has been giving tours since he was 7 years old. He gave us a 30 minute tour of the gardens, which have even better views of the city of Cajamarca than the mirador.
He also told us an amazing amount of history about Cajamarca, the slaughter of the Incans, the tribal wars that took place between the last kings of the Incans, and lots of interesting factoids. Before the Incans inhabited this area, the Caxamarca (a name of a different group of people) lived here. At the top of the hill is a rock with three sillas (Pronounced: See-jyahs or see-yuhs) “seats” which face different directions and are named the “seats of the Incas”.
However, they were actually made by the Caxamarca as a lookout for invaders as well as a marking of where the sun rose during different times of the year.
The Incans just adopted them when they conquered the Caxamarca.
You can’t get really close to the rock with the three sillas, but you can get close to a rock with 2 sillas, where you can sit and have your picture taken.
It felt pretty crazy to sit on a rock which was carved by the Caxamarca about 4,000 years before we got there.
We enjoyed our half hour tour quite a bit and at the end tipped 10 soles (about $3.30), which is a pretty good wage considering Edwin is 12 and also considering we’re in Cajamarca, Peru, where a 10 minute taxi or tuk-tuk ride costs 2-5 soles (if the driver is charging a fair price).
After the Sillas de los Incas, we went to the Museo de la San Francisco.